Imagine you wake up Christmas morning and instead of a cheap plastic toy or a gift certificate, there’s a real stock in your stocking?
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey asked the public what one stock they would gift to a loved one or a friend this holiday season
CNBC reporters and editors selected a list of 10 stocks including tech icons like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon and old-line companies like Ford, Wal-Mart and Delta Air Lines.
Before giving away the winner among the 800 Americans surveyed (with a margin of error of 3.5 percent), what’s clear is that the public did not pick the winner based on past returns. Netflix, Amazon andStarbucks were the top three (in that order) in both 12-month and five-year returns. Netflix had far and away the best performance, with a 158 percent one-year return and 365 percent over the past five years. But the public, in its wisdom, chose Netflix as only the fifth-most popular stock to stuff in a stocking. (Perhaps they see it as overvalued?)
The old-line companies, despite being household names, also didn’t fare very well. Ford and Delta were the choices, respectively, of 4 percent and 3 percent of the public. Only men over 50 had any measurable interest in gifting Ford stock.
And the ubiquitous Facebook, so much a part of American lives, fared no better than Ford. While the public views the company as an immensely successful communications vehicle, its reputation doesn’t seem to carry over into being a successful investment vehicle, despite being up 45 percent in the past 12 months.
And so the winner, in a mostly boring and predictable way was … Apple.
It didn’t really just win, it clobbered the competition as the choice of 20 percent of the public. It won virtually every one of the many demographic groups in the survey: It was the top choice of men and women, Republicans and Democrats and blue-collar and white-collar workers. It was the top choice of young people and those aged 50-64.
Google came in second with 15 percent of the vote, but it was only Wal-Mart that gave Apple a run for the money among some groups for the top spot. The retail behemoth was fourth overall with 11 percent but it nudged out Apple for the top spot among a few interesting groups. Amazon came in third with 12 percent.
The stock dominated among older Americans and those with lower-incomes. One-fourth of respondents making less than $30,000 chose Wal-Mart as their top stock stocking stuffer compared to just 16 percent for Apple. Americans living in the South were also more likely to pick the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, while Apple dominated everywhere else in the nation.